Background: Injuries constitute around 16% of the total disease burden in India with respect to Disability-Adjusted Life Years. More than two third of these injuries are unintentional and occur at household level. Domestic accidents are preventive and can be drastically reduced by effective measures and safety consciousness. This study aims to find the prevalence of domestic accidents, the household safety practices and their association with socio demographic factors in selected urban wards of Puducherry.
Methods: A population-based cross sectional analytical study was conducted in the service area of Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research Urban Health Centre, Puducherry, in June 2018. Data regarding self-reported domestic accidents in the last one year were collected using a structured questionnaire and assessment of household hazards was done after examining the houses.
Results: Among the 578 randomly selected households, 393(68%) belonged to nuclear families, 486(84%) had pucca houses and in 339(59%) overcrowding was present. 59(10.2%) households reported domestic accidents – of which 25(42%) had adult victims, 22(37%) were due to falls, 27(45%) had upper limb injuries and 25(43%) occurred in kitchen. On assessment of safety practices, 121(21%) houses had doors with stoppers, 394(68%) had items scattered on living room floor while 128(24%) and 160(30%) had grab bars and doormat in bathrooms respectively. Domestic accidents were more prevalent among overcrowded households - Prevalence Ratio: 1.74 ([95% CI: 1.02 – 2.98], p = 0.04).
Conclusion: The prevalence of domestic accidents was 10.2% in the present study. It was reported mostly among the adults and in the kitchen, with falls being the most common cause and upper limbs injury being commonest. Most of the houses had objects lying scattered on the floor hindering movement; and stoppers and grab bars were missing from the doors and bathrooms respectively. Overcrowding was significantly associated with domestic accidents.
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